The Druids were formed as a trio in 1969 by ex-pop musician John Adams (vocals, mandolin, bass), and folk singers Keith Hendrick (vocals, guitar, banjo) and Mick Hennessy (vocals, bass). A few months later, itinerant fiddler Dave Broughton joined them, and in 1970, while appearing in a documentary film about English folk musicians, they met fifth member Judi Longden, who added her voice to the proceedings.
With their reliance on acoustic instruments, the Druids were far more tradition-based than either Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span. Their repertory consisted of traditional English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish songs arranged for four voices, and their music had a pleasingly archaic feel, not resembling folk-rock at all. If anything, they sounded more like the kind of outfit that A.L. Lloyd or Ralph Vaughan Williams (editors of the definitive collection of English folk songs) would have approved of, without a trace of uncalled for elegance or pretentiousness.
Pastimes is the first time on CD and deserves to be out there sharing a piece of Folk history that shows the world how it should be done.
1. To Drive Cold Winter Away/father Kelly’s Jig/the Rollicking Irishman
2. Congleton Bear
3. Three Merry Men Of Kent
4. All’s Dear But Poor Men’s Labour
5. Marquis Of Lorne/ Locomotive Hornpipe
6. The Diggers Song
7. The Leaves Of Life (the Seven Virgins)
8. Oddjob’s Polka / Sally Gardens
9. Three Jolly Sportsmen
10. The Pick And The Maltshovel
11. The Irish Girl
12. The White Cockade
14. Flowers Of Edinburgh / Come Let Us Dance And Sing / Kate Dalrymple